Thousands of people line up for hours at emergency food banks across the US as unemployment skyrockets amid pandemic

Sunday, April 12, 2020
By Paul Martin

Food banks are being inundated by people seeking emergency supplies due to the coronavirus pandemic
Long lines form up early in the morning and last for hours as people wait to receive food from food pantries
The need for food has skyrocketed as unemployment claims soar to 16.8million due to the pandemic
Feed America says that it will now need to feed an additional 17.1million people on top of the usual 43million
Food banks are at risk of running out of food as grocery stores decrease donations due to customer demand

12 April 2020

Food banks across America have been inundated by seemingly endless lines of people who have found themselves out of jobs and low on cash as the fight to flatten the coronavirus curve wears on.

With the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 14.7 per cent this week – the highest since 1940 – and more than 16.8million people in the US filing for unemployment over the last three weeks, food banks have been struggling to keep up with unprecedented demand.

The growing pull on these emergency food pantries comes just as families across the country are heading into major religious holidays Passover and Easter.

On Saturday, Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County hosted a drive-thru food distribution in Anaheim, California, meant to provide food to people most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The three-hour event was stocked with enough food for up to 7,000 families, with each car in the line being given a bag each of potatoes, onions, shelf-stable grocery items and King’s Hawaiian Bread, KTLA reported.

In Honolulu, Hawaii, a two-mile-long line of cars awaited the Salvation Army’s drive-thru emergency food distribution Saturday, Hawaii News Now reported.

People waited as long as two hours to receive their food packages. All told, the Salvation Army said that it given food to nearly 700 cars, with multiple families inside one car, indication that thousands of people had actually been given food.

These are just some of the latest reports of extensive lines of people in need of emergency food supplies following the coronavirus outbreak in the US.

Earlier in the week, dramatic images revealed long lines of cars at drive-thru food banks in many major US cities.

Texas’ San Antonio Food Bank said that about 6,000 people had registered for its food distribution on Thursday, but that about 10,000 families actually showed up to receive more than one million pounds worth of food.

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